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Energy & Environment

Electric companies reach agreement on serving oil patch community

An investor-owned utility and an electric co-operative have reached what’s called a “service area agreement” – to serve customers in Kenmare. As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, state regulators still have to approve that agreement.

Under the agreement, MDUand Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative would divvy-up the customers. The area is in the oil patch. And the agreement must be approved by the state Public Service Commission.

"Obviously, we don't like to see wasteful duplication, and we guard against it," said Commissioner Kevin Cramer. "At the same time, the ability and opportunity for utilities to work together for a common good and the good of the community has some weight to it."

Cramer said the exploding development in the oil patch is causing these kinds of agreements.

"Obviously, there's way more development in the oil patch than one company can deal with," said Cramer. "We're grateful to see this cooperation."

The Commission will hold an informal hearing on the agreement in August.

Another one in the oil patch – between McLean Electric Cooperative and Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative is pending.

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